Every major bank holiday, employers are often riddled with requests from employers for holiday leave. This often has businesses scrambling for replacements, causing loss of productivity, hurt feelings and much unnecessary stress on employers.
Therefore, it is imperative that employers plan ahead this year, noting especially the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday which takes place in June.
Acas, a company that specialises in resolving employee disputes, has urged employees to keep in mind that Monday 4 June and Tuesday 5 June are bank holidays. That week, workers will gain a nine-day sabbatical if they only take three days of leave, and it also coincides with school half term as well.
Things may not be as overwhelming as last year, however, when the May bank holiday and the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fell, because of Easter, within the same two-week period. There were only three working days last year between 22 April and 2 May.
"For many, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate...It's important to be as fair and consistent as possible by having a policy on how to manage time off and leave requests so employees can join in the celebrations and employers can maintain morale at work," said Stewart Gee, Acas national helpline manager.
Although there is no legal right for an employee to take a bank holiday, employers are required to give employees a written employment contract which expressly states any rights to time off, pay for time off or extra pay for bank holidays, etc. That way, dependent on the contract, employees may very well be required to work on a bank holiday.
If there is no written contract, it does depend on verbal agreements or custom and practice, but it is best to have a thorough written record to avoid any misunderstandings on either part.